Chimneys to come down at Tilbury Power Station

170m chimneys to be demolished

The skyline in Thurrock will change on the 28th September when the two chimneys at Tilbury Power Station come down simultaneously. The buildings have been part of the site since the station was built in 1969 and this will mark the site’s seventh controlled explosive demolition.

At approximately 8am on the 28th September 2017, the tallest standing structures in Essex will come down. The controlled demolition will bring down the power station chimneys which are constructed of concrete and stand approximately 170m high in less than 10 seconds.

You may hear the explosion and collapse further away from the site, and any dust generated will be cleaned by the onsite road sweepers.

To protect everyone on site and in the local area, an exclusion zone will be in place before, during and immediately after the explosion and there will be no public access. The exclusion zone has been calculated according to the size of the structure. The exclusion boundary will therefore extend across some local businesses, the Tilbury Power Station access road, jetty and shore line. Local roads will remain unaffected and minimal disruption is expected.

RWE will be making the footage available for public viewing immediately after the event via twitter @RWE_UK and @brownandmason. There are no safe and accessible areas around the perimeter of the station which would provide views of the chimneys coming down and no public car parking available in the area.

Local authorities and the Police have been consulted and will be available during this controlled demolition.

The other main structures such as the Coal Bunker Houses are scheduled for explosive demolition later this year. The complete demolition of the site is expected towards the end of 2018.

In July, RWE announced it was beginning the planning process to develop the option for Tilbury Energy Centre. The Project will include up to 2500MW Combined Cycle Gas Turbine plant, an option for up to 300MW of Open Cycle Gas Turbine power generation and an Energy Storage Facility. Public consultation will begin early next year on this development.

RWE Generation operate 8.5GW of flexible power generation and are an important part of security of supply in the UK.


• Tilbury Power Station is a former coal-fired station in Essex. It began full commercial operation in 1969. The Tilbury site covers a total area of approximately 140 hectares.

• The power station ran on coal, with a generating capacity of 1,467MW . In 2011 it was converted to 100% biomass – specifically wood pellets with a capacity of 1,131 MW. This transition reduced greenhouse gas emissions by over 70%.

• Tilbury is an opted out station under the Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD), and was allowed 20,000 remaining operating hours between 1st January 2008 and 31st December 2015. It produced its final unit of electricity on 13th August 2015.

• When Tilbury Power Station was operational, the chimneys operated to release emissions. The design of the stacks ensured all flu gasses were pushed high into the atmospheric space in order to disperse over a large service area.